I am still pretty old school about a lot of things ( given that I AM a certified elder at 63 years of age) and one of those things is around my banking practices.
I actually GO to the bank 2-4 times a month to deposit checks, withdraw money, pay various bills and the rent on my Creative Juices Arts studio.
I guess I’ve never really learned to trust ATM’s.
When I go to the bank I know there is always a risk that there will be a line that I have to stand in for awhile, so I make sure to bring a book with me to keep me occupied and not so focused on whether or not the line is moving as quickly as I may have hoped.
A good book in my hands is my guaranteed anti-cranky magic charm.
I also really enjoy my interactions with the tellers and make sure to ask them about their day and what is going on in their lives. I know their names and encourage them to talk about their families and their interests. I know that they have a tough job and get a lot of frustration thrown their way undeservedly. And I want them to feel seen, valued and appreciated as human beings.
I also know that it’s way more fun for ME to have a warm and friendly positive interaction with another person as opposed to creating bad feelings and resentment on both sides.
So as much as going to the bank is not my most favorite thing in the world, I try to make it as pleasant of an experience as possible for me and for everyone else involved.
A week ago I was at the bank once again. The line was VERY long and the tellers were few. So I got out my book and prepared for the long haul.
One of the bank managers, a lovely young woman named Rosita, unexpectedly came up to me, pulled me out of the line and let me know that she could help me in her private cubicle. I was surprised but delighted to be rescued from a tedious wait.
We chatted for a moment while she took care of my banking stuff and I asked her why she offered me this generous gift of her private time.
She said “ We really appreciate you and what a ray of sunshine you are to all of us.”
I was quite startled at that and laughingly said… “Wow! That’s wonderful. I had no idea anyone even knew who I was. I thought I was operating incognito!”
“Oh no”… she said in response… “ALL of my people here in the bank know who YOU are. We are always SO happy to see you walk through the door because you unfailingly have a kind word and a smile for everyone you come into contact with. You are never impatient. You never blame us for things we can’t control. You make us all feel so good and we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you and your kindness.”
It was then that I started to cry. I make it a point to see with the eyes of love every person I meet ( unless I am having a REALLY bad day. And then I just try to stay out of people’s way) and here was Rosita giving that gift back to me.
I treat people the way that I do because of how good it makes ME feel. I know that people enjoy it, but it wasn’t until I found myself sitting in that tiny bank cubicle that I saw so clearly how rare of an occurrence it is for many folks to ever have that kind-hearted experience of being seen, especially those out there on the front lines in service roles.
In that moment I felt the visceral, gut truth of how the energy we bring into the world is NEVER inconsequential and ripples out in ways that we might not ever fully realize. That every word we speak, every interaction we have, every generosity or negative word has it’s effect on our community energy for good or ill.
Now, I’m not guaranteeing that if you’re nice to your local bank tellers it will keep you from having to wait in long lines. Heck… I don’t know if it will ever happen to ME again!
Love never offers that kind of certainty from the outside world.
The magic I’m describing doesn’t work if we have expectations. Because expectations always lead to disappointment which keeps you out of love.
There IS something you can count on however, and that is Love Begets Love. Always. We can always HAVE love by choosing to be IN that place of love. And if we want love we need to first of all BRING love. It’s a practice of reminding ourselves at all times that we are never far from love because at core we ARE love.
At home with our partners and families. In traffic. On the job. At the beach. Making art and praying.
And even while waiting in line at the bank.